This is a vegan version (that I made up years ago) of pasta puttanesca, which apparently translates to ‘whore’s pasta’. I read somewhere that it was so quick to make, that the aforementioned lady could whip it up between customers. Personally, I think such fast preparation results in a pretty uninspiring dish. I like to cook the onions slowly to make sure they’ve properly browned before adding the remaining ingredients which should then be cooked long and slow enough to concentrate the flavors. Don’t rush it.

Veganesca served on hot GF pasta.

Veganesca served on hot GF pasta.

Puttanesca normally contains anchovies. It is a strong tasting tomato sauce for serving with pasta; this version is also a great alternative to pizza sauce.

I was concerned that using a cast iron pan rather than a stainless steel pan could affect the flavor of this dish. Although cast iron is usually my pan of choice, here the tomatoes are in contact with the iron for so long, that their acid leaches iron out of the pan, which I understand is good for your health, but I was worried we might not care for the flavor change. Having said that, I have just made this in cast iron, and daughter #1 told me it was delicious and had to be shoo’d out of the kitchen before she ate it all out of the pan. Go figure!

1 tbsp oil or Earth Balance
1 medium to large onion, peeled, cut in half, and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
2 x 28oz tins of chopped tomatoes in juice
8” square of a sheet of seaweed ground into 1 1/2 tbsp ground seaweed
1/2 cup (~24) black olives, pits removed, and sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Don't even think about progressing with the recipe until the onions are AT LEAST this brown.

Don’t even think about progressing with the recipe until the onions are AT LEAST this brown.

Heat the oil/margarine in a large frying pan or saucepan, and fry the onion until it browns.

Add the garlic to the onion and allow it to warm through for a minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook for 30-40 minutes, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, or until the tomato juice has boiled off, and the flavors have intensified.

Check for seasoning, and serve hot over pasta.


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